A SMALL island in England was once a popular seaside resort – and it now a huge wildlife haven.
Canvey Island, off the coast of Essex, is entirely below sea level and separated from the mainland by a number of creeks.
It was home to just 300 people at the beginning of the 20th century and became a popular seaside resort with fairground rides and food stalls.
It was created by entrepreneur Frederick Hester and included a huge promenade and pier, as well as winter gardens and monorails, although many of these were destroyed over the years.
However, the popularity of cheap package holidays in the 1970s to Europe killed this off, and the island has since become used for oil and gas storage.
Now home to around 40,000 people, the island's main attraction is Canvey Wick.
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Found behind a Morrisons supermarket, the 93-hectare site is an abandoned oil refinery.
But it is now is one of the "most significant areas in the UK for invertebrates" according to the BBC, with 30 of the 1,500 species on the endangered list.
Other rare species include orchids, while it's also hotspot for nightingales, lizards and adders
And in 2005, it was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and has become popular with tourists after it joined an 85-mile stretch of the Englan Coast Path last summer.
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